New Era Begins this Saturday for LA Tech Tennis

New head coach Freddy Gomez
New head coach Freddy Gomez

Jan. 24, 2013

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RUSTON - Seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams once said that tennis is mostly mental.

That part of the game is what new head coach Freddy Gomez hopes to steer in the right direction as a new era begins this Saturday for the Louisiana Tech tennis team as they open the 2013 spring season at the Louisiana Tech Tennis Complex.

The Lady Techsters are coming off one of their best years in program history as they finished 14-8, the most wins since 1994.

It was also was the first time since a six-year stretch from 181-86 that the program registered back-to-back 10-plus win seasons.

However, the former Virginia Tech assistant coach aspires to take this tennis program to an even higher level by instilling pride, good camaraderie and a winning spirit, to go along with the physical abilities of his team.

"We will play teams of all levels [this season]," said Gomez. "I want to see how the players respond to different challenges, and their overall performance."

The Lady Techsters lost seniors Maartje de Wit and Anna Zurek, as well as Elne Barnard who graduated with a 16-5 singles season. Barnard returns as a student assistant under Gomez.

Returning for Gomez are senior Alena Erofeyeva who finished last season with 19 singles wins in dual contests, the second most in school history, and senior Vivian ten Dolle who played primarily at the No. 2 position and was a second-team all-WAC performer her freshman year.

Also returning is junior Melanie Urvoy who tallied a 3-8 singles mark last season as well as a 4-3 doubles record.

Two freshman join the squad in Taly Merker and Manoela Chiacchio, both of whom were very successful players in South America, but must adjust to the college and hard court game.

"[I want to see] how they adjust to the college format, from one doubles match to the singles," said Gomez. "[I want to see] them play knowing that there is a whole group of players, a team, competing next to them."

The schedule is highlighted by nine home matches, including a three-match conference set in late March versus Utah State, Denver and UTSA.

Featured non-conference games include matches at Stephen F. Austin, Houston, UALR and future CUSA foe Southern Miss.

It all starts versus Central Arkansas, a team the Lady Techsters lost a close 4-3 match to last season, at home this Saturday at 1 p.m.

The LA Tech tennis team will have a Meet and Greet on Friday, Jan. 25, at 4:15 p.m. at the Louisiana Tech Tennis Complex or at the Argent Alumni Pavilion (if rain). Free snacks and beverages will be provided and tennis fans will have a chance to meet and talk with the players and the new coaching staff a day before the season opener.

For more information please contact head coach Freddy Gomez.